“Reigns” is a kingdom-ruling strategy game set in medieval time. It contains simple yet aesthetically pleasing graphics with dark humor. The core mechanic of the game is swiping left or right to make binary decisions that affect your kingdom. Death is inevitable, so your goal is to stay alive as long as you can. Reigns have the price tag of $2.99 and what you get is definitely worth more than that.
This game is all about randomness. The player is presented with a series of questions drawn from a deck of cards. When you meet a new courtier, their stack of cards gets added to the deck. As the ruler of the kingdom, your job is to balance four factions of Church, Military, People, and Economy. Having either one of these too low or too high would end your reign. You come back as the next ruler in the continuous time line. This is caused by the devil you encounter every 666 years. Part of the goal is to break the curse. At the start of each Reign, you will see three goals. This is to give you a hint of what you are trying to achieve during this following Reign. Some of the decisions you make have a lingering effect even to the next ruler, that is the consequence you have to live with.
Music in this game reminds me of a hymn, which I think is above average for a simple game like this. It fills the gaps when you are making decisions. Whenever you are present a card, the courtier will make non-intelligible babbling sounds. The music and sound are a nice touch to the game that makes repetitive decision making more tolerable.
This game has PC version but the control is so simple that it can be played with one hand a mobile device. You are able to bring this game with you for few minutes of fun during down time. Sometimes I play this game while watching TV, when advertisements are playing. It’s very convenient because the game can stop anytime.
One game lasts 1998 years, that’s 3 devil’s visit. The replayability is about two to three play through. This is because sometimes you have to die to find out the consequences of your decision. There are lots of secrets and easter eggs to find. This may require you to make decisions that are not logical.
This feels like “make your own adventure” game, but there are only a few key cards that you are looking for to progress the story. The endless Yes/No decision sometimes gets me feeling worn out without achieving anything.
There is a battle system when you enter the dungeon, but it’s a bit hard to figure out. It’s like rock paper scissor, but there are only 2 options. How does that work? I’m not too sure…
Some of the questions presented to the player are unclear. This will take some time to figure out.
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Release year: 2016